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Review: Trip of Compassion - Documentary available on Vimeo

Keith Higgons

Posted on March 11, 2019 08:33

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Israeli documentary on the use of MDMA on the treatment of PTSD.

About 18 months ago a friend sent me the Ayelet Waldmen book, A Really Good Day, about her experience micro-dosing with LSD. And thus began my journey researching the world of modern psychedelics. I even managed about half (so far) of the Michael Pollen book How to Change Your Mind . . . suffice it to say, I've opened my mind.

I happily discovered there is a whole therapeutic environment where LSD, MDMA (Ecstasy) and psilocybin (those three primarily) are being studied in the treatment of PTSD, depression, anxiety, drug addiction, alcoholism, smoking cessation and assisting terminally ill patients accept their diagnosis. Sometimes they're academic studies, sometimes private and sometimes they're clandestine.

Now if you've spent any time in conversation with me in the past year, you've been subjected to my nattering about my position on the controlled and therapeutic use of these drugs. Yes, I'm an ardent supporter.

Entrepreneur and author Tim Ferriss recently wrote about an Israeli documentary called Trip of Compassion. The movie is about an Israeli study that uses MDMA in the treatment of PTSD. It chronicles three out of the ten participants in the study. One was a sex abuse survivor, one a kidnap survivor and one a first responder survivor, and all three presented crippling PTSD symptoms.

As is typical with a clinical study, a strict protocol was followed. In this case, there were three therapy sessions, two MDMA sessions and a third and final therapy session (no time frame is given). Re-enactments of the participants' inciting events are shown which add an Investigation Discovery vibe to the film, but they're hardly distracting.

Interestingly, the three participants in the film were bold enough to have their therapy sessions video taped, including their MDMA sessions. For the first time in many years we have the opportunity to see how patients react to psychedelics. Certainly, these scenes are jarring but you will immediately recognize the therapeutic power of the MDMA as each patient works through their trauma.

We’re at an interesting place with psychedelics. They're inching their way back to their origins as clinical evidence continues to mount that these drugs provide real relief, if not actual cures, from a number of psychological maladies. And yet they remain naively vilified and harshly criminalized. I would argue the reasons why are driven by greed.

In a controlled and therapeutic environment these drugs can be very beneficial. Properly used, you're not going to jump off a building because you think you can fly. You're more likely to find pleasure in Grateful Dead music or want to hug someone. Neither of those are harbingers of evil.

And no. These drugs aren't for everyone or for every ailment. But they are for some. Psychedelics can work. We need to let them. Oh wait, there is no money in actually curing people.

Of the ten participants in Trip of Compassion, eight of them have been cured of all symptoms of PTSD and no longer require medication. 

Watch this movie.

 

Keith Higgons

Posted on March 11, 2019 08:33

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Source: NYU News

When pondering the use of hallucinogenic or psychedelic drugs, bizarre trips, partying and high psychological risks may often...

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